It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ... for vegetables this year. As previously reported, the 2013 onions were the best ever. But, sorry to report, the 2013 tomatoes are the worst ever. I blame it on the weather - never the gardener.
Four tomato varieties were planted this year. The 'improved' Supersweet 100 cherry tomatoes were mostly unimproved. They attracted my usual 'blights and mites.' The only hope for these tomatoes is to plant early, grow quickly, and harvest as much as you can before the blights and mites set in. You gotta admit, the little buggers are sweet.
Fourth Of July tomato seeds were sent as a mistake by Burpee. They did not produce by the 4th, but at the end of July, along with the other tomato varieties. The smallish Black Velvet tomatoes were small and extremely rare as hardly any fruit set. The flavor was not too impressive. Finally, the Beefy Boy tomatoes could have used a few trips to the gym this year. Still, for the small sizes harvested, all tasted better than the supermarket varieties.
I haven't grown carrots in a long time due to the failed attempts forcing them into heavy clay soil. The soil is improved in the vegetable garden, so why not try again? And why not try Tendersnax? The best carrot ever pulled out of my garden had warts on it. Possible carrot problems include maggots, rust flies, nematodes, nothing causing warts. I see some discussion on heavy soil that might produce this condition and in extreme cases, additional legs. Some warts were cleaned off for the photo shoot.
First time growing zucchini for me this year produced these baseball bats. Sliced up, seasoned with oil, garlic, oregano, salt, and grilled. That took care of one fourth of one. Black Beauty is the name, and I find it is an heirloom variety. I see pickled zucchini in my future.
Mama don't let your cucumbers grow up … when you are on vacation. You get overstuffed pregnant blimps like this. Picklebush pickling cukes on bush plants were grown. The skins make them not so good for eating raw like regular cucumbers. And not being experienced with them and their coloring, I had a difficult time determining when they were ready for picking.